This week’s roundup focuses on what’s new in Gutenberg, WordPress 5.0, (of course!) but we also discuss WooCommerce’s upgrade instructions and we have a cool bonus for you! Let’s get to it!
It’s been a bit of a slow week when it comes to news in general. Well, that is, if we ignore the usual suspects: Gutenberg & WordPress 5.0 😉.
Last week’s big announcement was that WordPress 5.0 would be postponed to the 27th of November. This pushes the release date back until after the most intense e-commerce weekend online: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Postponing the release for roughly two weeks addresses only some of the arguments out there, but it’s good to see the Core team is listening to outside input.
The last Gutenberg beta
Gutenberg had its last beta release with the release of Gutenberg 4.4, yesterday. Next up are the Release Candidates. The most important updates in 4.4 are:
Some long-standing usability issues were improved around image uploads, permalinks, columns, video backgrounds, etc. It’s now also possible for plugins to remove core panels from the Document sidebar.
Per usual, you can read the rest in the release post over at Make WordPress Core: there are quite a lot of improvement and bug fixes. Furthermore, this release saw a decent amount of refinements with regards to Accessibility and Performance. Two topics we at Yoast hold very dear to our heart.
WordPress 5.0 beta 5
You could easily be fooled thinking the upcoming WordPress 5.0 release is all about integrating the Gutenberg editor, but there’s more!
PHP 7.3 compatibility
WordPress 5.0 also introduces full compatibility with PHP 7.3. The last known PHP 7.3 compatibility issue has been fixed with the release of WordPress 5.0 beta 5. If you’re curious to find out what you should know about PHP 7.3 and WordPress, check out the developer note on the Make WordPress Core blog.
I’ve mentioned before that WordPress 5.0 will ship with a new default WordPress theme. This beta release saw a lot of small but important improvements for Twenty Nineteen.
WooCommerce & WordPress 5.0
Usually, when there’s an update to any WordPress plugin, it can be processed fairly smoothly. However, in some cases, you should test updates in a staging environment first, before you do this on the live site. And in some cases, you should test in a staging environment and follow a specific sequence of steps.
With the upcoming WordPress 5.0 release and WooCommerce, this is the case. The tl;dr is that, before you update to WordPress 5.0, you first need to update WooCommerce to the 3.5.1 version. If you’re running WooCommerce, as we do, make sure you read their announcement first.
If you have many different types of content on your site, you’ll know it can get a little bit confusing at times. This week, I saw an interesting new product trying to tackle exactly that problem. OrganizeWP aims to provide a new and improved way for editors to manage their content. Learn more about their features here.